Ansible - Contributor Summit 03/2021

Ansible Mar 09, 2021

The Ansible Contributor Summit is a full day of working sessions with the Ansible community team and contributors in the community. I was able to attend the conference today. I just left it some minutes ago and wanted to share my experience and some content from the conference.

What is the summit?

The Ansible contributor summit is meant as a gathering of contributors or anybody interested in the Ansible development. It is planned as a day full of sessions. You can hear from actual contributors how they see the Ansible development, and you are able to ask questions.

Ansible Contributor Summit 2021.03
Virtual Ansible Contributor Summit - March 2021

Agenda & Talks

The agenda was packed with cool talks and presentations. It was so much, I am not able to address all of them, but I want to give you an overview what the summit was about and what you might expect. The full agenda can be found in the link below.

Ansible Contributor Summit 2021.03 - HackMD
# Ansible Contributor Summit 2021.03 ###### tags: `contributor summit` **Date:** Tuesday, March 9,

Intro

@cybette, @gundalow and @ompragash gave an introduction and welcomed everybody. We already got an idea how the community team currently looks like and discussed how the community currently communicates over at Reddit, Twitter, the Ansible Blog or IRC.

One year of Ansible

The next major topic was the overview of the recent changes in Ansible. I have addressed this topic slightly in the Ansible - Release 3.0.0 article, but @gwmngilfen and @dmsimard explained this is in much more details and also gave an update how it currently looks like.

The review of "one year collections" was quite interesting. Greg explained a lot how contributions have shifted to collections and pull requests are finally shifting, too. He is also having a blog, where you can really dig into details with him.

Emerald Reverie Blog
Gwmngilfen’s blog - Data science & other randomness from the heart of Scotland

More statistics and statistic related content are available and the presentation is already online.

Road to 3.0.0+

David gave us an overview of 7(!) years of Ansible in only some minutes. With the start set in 2014 and the first announcement of collections in 2019, this was quite a compressed journey. Of course, it ended in an explanation how Ansible 2.10, 3.0.0, Ansible Core and more are related to each other.

©dmsimard @ansible contributor summit

He explained the roadmap very well with a lot of pictures, like the one above. You can already have a look at the presentation, if you want.

Ansible Builder

This was a very nice technical topic for me. Nikhil (njain) explained Ansible Builder and Runner very thoroughly and this is a thing I really need to address in another blog article. The demonstration was quite nice, though.

You can also find the documentation about Ansible Builder here to dig into the topic on your own. In December, the Ansible blog already introduced us to Ansible Builder, too.

Introduction to Ansible Builder
Hello and welcome to another introductory Ansible blog post, where we’ll be covering a new command-line interface (CLI) tool, Ansible Builder.

Network Collection

Another talk was about the network collections, hold by Brad and Ganesh. He was reviewing the roadmap and talking about priorities and improvements. He also addressed how these collections are currently changing and new plugins / filters and much more. For everybody interested, there are also a lot of articles, addressing the network collections.

Ansible Network Resource Modules: Deep Dive on Return Values
Ansible Network Automation resource modules are opinionated network modules that make network automation easier to manage and more consistent for those automating various network platforms in production.
Deep dive on VLANS resource modules for network automation
This blog post goes through the eos_vlans module for the Arista EOS network platform. We walk through several examples and describe the use cases for each state parameter and how we envision these being used in real world scenarios.
Deep Dive: ACL Configuration Management Using Ansible Network Automation Resource Modules
In October 2019 as part of the Red Hat Ansible Engine 2.9 release, the Ansible Network Automation team introduced the first resource modules. These opinionated network modules make network automation easier and more consistent for those automating various network platforms in production.

Digging into Ansible Network automation is another topic, I really need to address in this blog. ;)

Ubuntu PPA

Ansible is available for a wide variety of Linux distributions. You can use pip/PyPi to install Ansible, but it is much more convenient to use a package manager. For Ubuntu, there is a PPA (personal package archive) available here. Deric is one of the maintainer for this PPA and introduced us to the work he is doing.

He is also seeking for support and contributions. So, please feel free to reach out to him via GitHub or IRC (freenode, dericcrago) in case you want to help or just ask some questions.

Documentation (Split)

Sandra introduced the Ansible documentation split into Ansible Core (the engine) and Ansible Package (including some collections).

Ansible Core Documentation — Ansible Core Documentation
Ansible Documentation — Ansible Documentation

There is also an agenda for the documentation working group.

Later, there was another talk / discussion about the documentation of collections and roles. Some community members suggested handling docs like Docker, Ruby gems or PyPi packages do, where the documentation lives next to the code and there is no dedicated page to gather the documentation.

Community Galaxy update

Matt and Andrew were giving a review and update on the changes for Ansible Galaxy regarding the development of collections, Ansible GalaxyNG / Automation Hub and how the community accepts these changes.

The bottom line is: Ansible roles are still supported and will be supported for the foreseeable future. Collections are the future, but roles are important, too.

Future / Unanswered questions

Lastly, Toshio provided a lot of background knowledge about new collections since 2.10 and gave a forecast to 4.0.0. He also started some discussion about testing and lots of people provided knowledge, ideas and insights of their work.

More...?!

During the talks some things were mentioned, that are not necessarily related to a talk.

Katacoda

There is a Katacoda scenario for contributing to Ansible collections.

Testing Collections | ansible-community | Katacoda
Interactive Learning and Training Platform for Software Engineers

RHEL Development

For Ansible Development it may be useful to have a RHEL image at hand, which was also addressed and commented. You can get a free RHEL subscription (up to 16 installations) for development or production.

New Year, new Red Hat Enterprise Linux programs: Easier ways to access RHEL
Introducing new no-cost RHEL programs for small production deployments and enterprise development teams.

Geerlingguy

Yes, @geerlingguy was there, too. He also got some honorable mentions for his roles and contributions. In case you don't know him, he is the author of "Ansible for Devops" and this content.

Conclusion

I am really happy, that I took my time. I was able to actually talk to the development team and mention some issues that I currently have with Ansible. On the other hand, I also heard opinions, issues and feedback from other users and developer, which is very useful for me.

The Ansible community team will also ensure to upload everything to YouTube and publish the presentations, soon.

Ansible Automation Platform
This is the official channel for the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform. Ansible is simple, agentless IT automation that anyone can use! Ansible is a universal language, unraveling the mystery of how work gets done. Turn tough tasks into repeatable playbooks. Roll out enterprise-wide protocols …
Ansible Community
Videos for the Ansible Community by the Ansible Community Team.

To wrap it up: "Why don't we have this kind of events more often? At least every major release, would be my recommendation."

Tags

Daniel Schier

Just a guy doing stuff. Mostly #FLOSS like #Linux, #Ansible, #Podman, #K8s, #Python, #Nextcloud or whatever comes next.

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